Wrecking Ball

HAP Applies for Washington Heights Demo Permit [Updated]

4452 Broadway. (HAP Investment Developers)

HAP Investment Developers has filed an application for a demolition permit at 4452 Broadway at the southeast corner of Fairview Avenue and Broadway in Washington Heights, according to Department of Buildings records.

HAP purchased the 24,280-square-foot lot including neighboring 4454 Broadway in April 2013 for $7.3 million, according to property records. HAP put the kibosh on rival Quadriad‘s plans by scooping up the two sites, which had been included in proposed plans by the latter developer, DNAinfo previously reported. Read More

Lease Beat

Coffee Replacing Crumbs Cupcakes in Chelsea

A Crumbs Bake Shop.

A new coffee shop serving Italian-style coffee and in-house, hand-made baked goods, is building out the 950-square-foot space where Crumbs Bake Shop used to be in Chelsea. Seven Grams Caffe signed a 10-year lease in June and plans to open at 275 Seventh Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets in the second week of September.

The owners don’t anticipate any bad joo joo from Crumbs’ demise. Read More

Feature Story

A New Lease on…Leasing

Hunters Point Park pier in Long Island City.

Landlords across the city are embracing non-traditional leases in the hope of avoiding two problems: a less than fresh roster of tenants and empty rental space. And property owners are taking advantage of the perks of filling commercial space with creative companies under a wide range of lease terms to amp up property presence, community engagement and, of course, the bottom line.

And while pop-ups came into their own amid the recession for the basic reason of filling space, landlords are increasingly using them as a way to market properties even with much improved vacancy rates, according to reports. Read More

Power Broker

Brokering the Diamond District, New York City’s Crown Jewel

Diamond Ring

In a vault in the middle of the stretch of West 47th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Fifth Avenue that’s known as the Diamond District, a longtime merchant keeps his literal crown jewels: a set designed in the 18th century for the French royal family. The jewelry salesman and collector places the value of the tiara, bracelet, necklace and earrings with origins in the Bourbon-Medici clan at $1 million, but those jewels are not for sale, he says. He says he plans to donate the piece to a museum someday, and his employees show off less pricey merchandise like a $650,000 choker and a $565,000 necklace. If those items seem too expensive, a store employee tells Commercial Observer, he’s happy to point out items that sell for closer to $500,000. Read More

Office With Benefits

Inside a New TAMI Office in the Old Financial District

Mekanism

Just six weeks after creative ad firm Mekanism moved into the company’s new two-floor, 11,000-square-foot office at 80 Broad Street in the Financial District, President and CEO Jason Harris invited Commercial Observer to check out the company’s sleek new digs in an exclusive tour.

Mr. Harris and other company officials at the firm with around 30 employees in its New York City office designed the space in collaboration with architects from the Environetics company to create an office that boasts both the surprising trappings of a millennial workplace and the more familiar appeal of a 35th-floor penthouse in a part of town where traditional finance tenants used to dominate. Read More

Lease Beat

Digital Marketing Firm Signs Flatiron District Lease

22 West 19th Street.

Digital marketing and media firm Taykey, Inc. signed a five-year, 7,125-square-foot lease to move into the seventh floor of the Kaufman Organization‘s Cluett Building at 22 West 19th Street in the Flatiron District this fall, Commercial Observer has learned.

Kaufman has now filled the 1901 structure with asking rents in the $50s per square foot following a renovation and the installation of additional elevators from the redone lobby, said Steve Kaufman, president of the company. Read More

The Lobby

Brandl Frey Leaves Durst for RFR

Brandl Frey by Steve Friedman.

Brandl Frey, who was most recently a leasing manager at the Durst Organization, started at RFR Realty yesterday, Commercial Observer has learned.

She is serving as the executive vice president of strategic initiatives and marketing, and will be working on marketing initiatives, branding and leasing at RFR properties including 375 Park Avenue and Lever House at 390 Park Avenue. Her office is in the latter. Read More

Awards

Real Estate Pros Give at Harlem Week Celebration

Faith Hope Consolo and Neah Banks

Douglas Elliman retail broker Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Tahl, president of Tahl Propp Equities, participated in the Harlem Chamber of Commerce‘s annual economic development day business awards luncheon by contributing undergraduate scholarships to aspiring Harlem students earlier this month.

Ms. Consolo, Mr. Tahl, U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, Former Mayor David N. Dinkins, State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright and Lloyd Williams, chairman of the Chamber, presented the awards from Ms. Consolo and other donors to a group of a half-dozen students in a ceremony at Columbia University during the month-long “Harlem Week” celebration that’s currently still underway. Read More

Sales Beat

Klosed Properties Closes First Soho Acquisition

202 Spring Street.

Klosed Properties has made its first Soho property purchase, picking up a retail condominium unit at 202 Spring Street for $7 million, Commercial Observer has learned. Klosed bought the property in partnership with Namdar Realty Group, said Steven Kachanian, the principal at Klosed. The deal took about two and a half years to complete, Mr. Kachanian said.

David Goldoff of Camelot Realty Group, who was the lone broker in the deal, said the property was on and off the market for three or four years.  Read More

Sales Beat

Certes, United Management Nab UWS S.R.O. for $15M

206 West 95th Street.

Certes Partners and United Management Corp. have purchased the infamous single-room-occupancy hotel Camden Hotel on the Upper West Side for $15 million. The seller of the building, once ranked the 24th Precinct’s second most dangerous building, was Steve Tzolis, owner of Il Cantinori and Periyali restaurants.

Sunder Jambunathan, a principal at Certes, said while the S.R.O. is in place at 206 West 95th Street, its status as such is being wound down. Certes and United Management’s plans for the site are in flux. Read More

Zoning

Housing Advocates Plan Harlem March on Wednesday

Real Affordability for All

The coalition of more than 50 housing advocacy groups known as the “Real Affordability for All Coalition” will demonstrate at Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church with speeches and a march on Wednesday afternoon, the groups announced last week.

The collection of religious organizations, neighborhood nonprofits and citywide anti-poverty groups plan to press Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to require at least 50 percent affordable units in all new residential developments at the event at 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard near 116th Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Harry Winston Consolidates, Relocates Offices

717 Fifth Avenue.

Harry Winston is relocating its offices from two Manhattan locations to a 23,000-square-foot space across from the luxury jewelry brand’s flagship retail store at 718 Fifth Avenue.

Harry Winston signed a 15-year lease at 717 Fifth Avenue on the southeast corner of 56th Street, according to a news release from CBRE. CBRE’s Zachary Freeman, Brian Hay and Ryan Alexander negotiated the deal on behalf of the landlord, Equity Office Properties, along with Bill Edwards and Jessica Kanfer from Equity Office Properties. Read More